Tuesday, July 31, 2007

So Slacking

sara ran the san francisco half on sunday. I. DID. NOT.

knees. 'nuf said.

this is my first run blow-off. can i just say that wandering haight street with a hot coffee spiked with bourbon just after 8:00 a.m. was delightfully wicked? too late for your approval, i just said it.

and in case you were wondering, this is completely and utterly in line with the P90X recovery week program that gleefully resides in a parallel universe.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Switch it Out

Two things crossed my path this week, both promoting the ever-increasing acknowledgement that Different is More: one was an article in the July 2007 issue of Harper's Bazaar about a one-month makeover; the other was a post to a blog my friend Stacie sent me about fat marathoners (see top left of this blogsite for the reason we started Ti90).

The article was by a writer who had taken an assignment from HB to do a month of training with one of Madonna's trainers, using an idea that's familiar to anyone bouncing around in the P90X world: be consistent, but switch it out. The writer's training called for a new routine every 10 sessions. By the end of the month she'd dropped four dress sizes and 10 lbs. (I'd like to hear about her in six months to see if she maintained.)

The blog post is by a fabulous fitness fanatic girl geek who calls herself Skwigg. She analyzes the paradox of running distances and gaining weight. She describes some of the theories that abound on the subject, but concludes with the one that got me here in the first place: muscles have memory; train them using only one method and they will plateau. (Her "If they'd just...throw up a lung for 20 minutes" comment is priceless, and right on point.)


These cosmic pings all happened during the same week I decided to mess with Phase Two of Doubles. Instead of three weeks of crazy upper body and pounding cardio, I'm doing four weeks so that my "rest" week falls immediately before the San Francisco Half Marathon. Yeah, it went through my mind: I'm defeating the purpose of the "muscle confusion" plan. But if I had stayed on track...well, here's the complicated algorithm: 6 solid days of lower body stress + 13.1 miles = Cranky Bitch at Finish Line.

Conclusion: Switch it out, but don't bitch it out.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

P90X Food

Just before I started P90X, I wrote about what Sara just referred to, the EGGPOUNDER 4000 portion of the meal plan. Basically, the P90X program includes a food plan to ensure maximum results, and one approach offered is a weekly menu plan.

Aside from the enormous (for me) amount of food I would have eaten if I'd gone by the menu, I would also have gone broke. Here's a sample shopping list from the first two days of the program:

Fat-free turkey, Extra lean ham, Salmon, Fat-free chicken broth, shrimp,
Cottage Cheese, fat-free mozarella, fat-free milk, string cheese, 8 eggs
Wild rice
Roma tomatoes, mushrooms, strawberries, romaine lettuce, hearts of palm, avocado, asparagus, red onion, red and yellow bell peppers, celery, garlic, bananas, blueberries, ginger, broccoli, snow peas, mushrooms, water chestnuts, green beans, shallots, butternut squash
Low-fat dressing, tomato paste
2 Protein Bars, 2 Recovery Drink, Soy Nuts, Protein powder, sesame seeds, cashews
White wine

For me and my happy-slappy singletude, this is about $80 of groceries that ordinarily would be enough food for over a week, not just two days. The rest of the week's menu tacks on, among other items: steak, chicken breast, quinoa, turkey bacon, soy sausage, spinach, grapefruit, pork, tuna, cantaloupe, swordfish...and 24 more eggs.

I moo now.

I abandoned the meal plan quickly, although I used some of the recipes. Fortunately, the program includes a portion control approach, which breaks down each day's meals into blocks of proteins, carbs, dairy, fruits, vegetables, fats, snacks and condiments. There's also a guide to what plan-positive foods fall into those blocks, and and what serving sizes they should be. That worked for me, even though - as the plan clearly warns against - I tended to undereat.

What the portion control guide allows for is small portions all day long; what it doesn't allow for is when someone gets so fed up and bored thinking about what to eat when, she opts for a dinner of edamame, a PowerBar and water with Emergen-C.

Eh. So I don't get it right every time. The next day I open the nutrition plan book and look for a day of food I think I can handle financially, physically and, strange to say, emotionally. Maybe salmon with lemon-dill sauce, asparagus, rice and soup is a dandy dinner, but I have enough PowerBars just in case.

Where to Find P90X

A reader recently left a comment asking where to find the virtual purchase point for P90X: it's on http://www.beachbody.com. You'll find it, among several other programs (like Yoga Booty Ballet, which sounds so girly I want to grab balls I don't have and vocalize in monosyllabic grunts) under "Best Sellers."

*grunt*...X goooood...*grunt*

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Booty Boot Camp - Month One

I've transitioned into month two of the Women's Health Deadline Diet (aka the booty bootcamp) and have found it only somewhat satisfying thus far. For starters, after the week 1 intensive, the next three weeks are a bit too easy for my taste: They only include two 30-45 min cardio
workouts per week, two upper body workouts, two lower body and only one core workout.
That just doesn't feel like it's enough.

So of course, I've been ignoring that and doing more than the bare minimum. I've been doing 3-4 cardio workouts a week - usually one long training run, two 30-45 minute runs and one cardio session with Maya.

The Strength workouts have been varied: whenever possible, I've done the WH ones. Sometimes, however, that hasn't been possible due to a lack of equipment. Often, I've felt that the workout wasn't challenging enough and ended up doing an additional Maya workout. I have found some of the WH workouts interesting though, and have occasionally tossed one in the middle of a longer Maya workout. This Core #5 one, for example, is great: I really enjoy having the change of pace from all floor core moves. I don't know that it is quite enough on its own though and felt the need to supplement the workout.

By the time I finished the fourth week, I found that I was beginning to slack a bit. The fourth week found me barely completing 3 cardio workouts and hardly finishing the second sets of upper body and lower body strength workouts. But that's where the structure of this series comes in handy. By the end of week 4, I found myself feeling guilty for having slacked off and highly motivated to get back on track... just in time for a new Booty Boot camp intensive week.

Week one of the second month, while not quite as intense as the first time around, is once again challenging with two strength workouts a day for the first three days. Sets you right back on track.